Facebook will 'get better' on hate speech: COO

Sheryl Sandberg addresses ad boycott by Verizon, Unilever and others

Facebook "has to get better" at removing hate speech, the company's COO Sheryl Sandberg said Tuesday before meeting with the organizers of a Facebook advertising boycott.

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"We have made real progress over the years, but this work is never finished and we know what a big responsibility Facebook has to get better at finding and removing hateful content," Sandberg wrote on Facebook on Tuesday morning. "We are making changes – not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do."

DENNY'S TO JOIN FACEBOOK AD BOYCOTT STARTING JULY 1

"Over many years, we’ve spent billions of dollars on teams and technology to find and remove hate – as well as protect the integrity of our platform more generally," Sandberg wrote.

Major companies began boycotting Facebook ads in June as part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign supported by groups including the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP. The companies include Verizon, Ben & Jerry's, Unilever and others.

Sheryl Sandberg Addresses U.S. Conference Of Mayors on June 8, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

"We meet in the context of what may be the largest social movement in U.S. history, and our nation’s best and latest chance to act against the racism that has pervaded our country since before our independence," Sandberg wrote ahead of the meeting with Stop Hate For Profit organizers.

Facebook will also release the results of a two-year independent civil rights audit on Wednesday, meant to help the company "learn a lot about what we could do better," Sandberg wrote.

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Meanwhile, Stop Hate For Profit says Facebook "allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America" and "turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform."

"As we head into today’s meeting with Facebook founder, Mark [Zuckerberg] we must make one thing clear, we will not stand for the bait and switch, divisive rhetoric, or the already unanswered promises of a better day. The only acceptable option for Facebook is to #STOPHATEFORPROFIT," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

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